Sunday, January 18, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Past Week and Accountability

This week has been challenging in more ways than one, but the main challenge being that 2 days this week we had no water, so it made it hard to be productive... We also had lots of rainy weather, which made laundry more difficult to do...

Here's my accountability for some specific struggles I've been working on.
In my disposable diaper tally- I used 7 this past week, but only 1 was out of laziness... the other 6 were when we didn't have water and I wasn't able to wash off dirty diapers, etc...
I didn't leave any laundry in the machine which then needed to be re-washed. So that's a win.
And while some food did get thrown out, it was less than last week. Only 1 cucumber and a little bit of rice that got left out too long...
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More than one time I was about to throw out a food (like some food that I didn't care for) and went to take a picture of it before tossing... then because of this post, I rethought what I was doing, and instead of throwing them out, I made them into a yummy meal that was a pleasure to eat. So I'm proud of that.

Here's what we did to save money this past week:

  • Foraged eryngo, chickweed, sow thistle, carobs, and lemons
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My foraging haul.
Frugal in the Kitchen

Revamped Leftovers/Reducing Food Waste
  • Made salmon scrap broth, which I then turned into a delicious chowder.
  • Repurposed a few leftover dishes into an omelet for Mike.
  • Used up all the cukes in salads before they'd spoil.
  • Made super frugal salad with chickweed, eryngo, sow thistle, leftover cucumber and radish salad, the last of the past prime cukes so they wouldn't spoil, the last bits of pickled veggies in a jar, onion greens that grew from my onions, juice from foraged lemons and olive oil from mom's tree.
  • Made mujaddara for supper, using leftover onion soup to cook the rice.
  • Used leftover lentils together with blended up soft tomatoes as sauce over pasta for supper.
  • Made a delicious revamped leftover lunch that everyone liked. I cleaned out my fridge and found a pot of rice (that was made with leftover onion soup) and some roasted eggplant salad made with tahini that I didn't really love how it came out. I took two thighs and two drumsticks, stuck them in my pressure cooker with some water and cooked till mostly soft, then added the eggplant salad  and half an open can of tomato paste from the fridge, and some garlic powder, salt, nutritional yeast, and a tad of coconut sugar, and cooked some more. Served the deboned dark meat chicken with the sauce over the rice- even my kid who doesnt like eggplant devoured it. It had a moussaka like taste, with the combo of the eggplant, tahini, nutritional yeast and tomato paste...
  • Made soup from chicken carcasses.
  • Got some meatball sauce from a friend (who'd made too much sauce for the meatballs she cooked), turned it into tomato soup with lentils, rice, and zucchini.
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Revamped leftover majadra and foraged salad

Making Things From Scratch 
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My buckwheat granola bars.
Free Things
  • Got free kids' books from a friend.
  • Got some free gluten free pasta from a friend who inherited it and didn't need it.
  • Got milk kefir grains from a friend.
Frugal Shopping:
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Homemade carob powder- coarser meal and powder
  • Did a whole lot of calculations to determine what cooking methods are cheapest.
  • Went to a free blogging workshop.
  • Had an at-home workout routine, figuring out how to make our pull up bar and exercise bands into the equivalent of an exercise machine.

What did you do to save money this past week? Any accomplishments you're particularly proud of? Any thing you really struggled with?


  1. I am a grandmother who has been following and loving your blog for quite awhile now. I am amazed by how much you seem to get done in a day, and am curious what your daily time schedule looks like, and how you work in time for all that you do in addition to finding time for your blog. When do you update your blog? While the children are asleep? (:

  2. Do you know what? I have felt dreadfully guilty about going back to disposables, but after reading that, I'm going to stop feeling bad. Our septic system failed completely - basically, every bit of liquid must be carried in AND carried out. So both little girls are in disposables. We've been "no water" (of course, we have water, but it's in the public spring a few miles away) and no drainage pipes for the past several months - six of us! :D I've figured out how to do mostly everything else, but laundry takes SO much water that we just drive into town (an hour away) to do it.

  3. Penni,
    Saw this up cycled dryer rack and thought of you and those cloth diapers!


  4. Thanks for writing down your frugal accomplishments & I'm glad the blog encouraged you to not waste food. I struggle with finding a use for cucumbers - at this time of year it's too cold for salads & my toddler's decided he doesn't like them. Other than in sandwiches I'm not sure what to do with the one lurking in the bottom of my fridge!

  5. This food looks yummy!

    As for the cucumbers, I always keep a jar of pickle juice in the fridge. Whenever I think I wont end up eat the veggies, they go in there. It's not as good as real pickles, but it keeps them from going bad. I've done cucumbers, carrots, onions, etc. It ends up tasting pretty good and actually, the vinegar sometimes stalls the rotting but still doesn't taste too pickley at first. After a week or so it tastes more pickley.


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